Koss family rakes it in from Reddit-fueled rally

The family behind Koss Corp and some of the company’s top executives raked in about $45 million from a surge in the headphone maker’s stock price during a retail trading blitz that rocked Wall Street last week.

Retail investors, egged on by Reddit thread WallStreetBets, sent shares of heavily shorted companies such as GameStop Corp and AMC Entertainment through the roof, leading to what is called as a short squeeze.

Michael Koss, who heads the company, took home about $12.9 million from the stock sale this week, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

John Koss Jr., who is the brother of the CEO and the company’s vice president of sales, made $16.64 million. Michael Koss Jr., the CEO’s son who is vice president of marketing and product, earned $3.66 million.

In total, they sold $33 million in shares, some of which came from trusts or other family members.

Other executives, including the company’s chief financial officer and board members, sold an additional $11.9 million in shares.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Koss Corp was founded in 1958 by John C. Koss and the company has since outfitted headphones for musicians Tony Bennett, Bobby Hacket and Frank Sinatra.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin-based business is still run by the Koss family, which owns 74% of the company’s outstanding shares.

The company’s shares closed at $64 last Friday, after opening at $3.65 at the start of the week, soaring more than 16 times. The company’s market value jumped from $26.3 million to nearly $460 million.

Koss’ stock peaked last week at $127.5 per share and was trading 20.6% lower at $20.32 on Thursday afternoon.